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Knowledge, Democracy and Power

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Author(s): Nico Stehr

Journal: Central European Journal of Public Policy
ISSN 1802-4866

Volume: 4;
Issue: 1;
Start page: 14;
Date: 2010;
Original page

Keywords: knowledge | power | civil society | governance | democracy | expertise

ABSTRACT
The theme that I explore in this paper concerns the multiple linkages between knowledge, power, civil society, governance, and societal democracy. I would like to place the general set of questions about relations between knowledge and democracy into the context of whether these linkages are co-determined by an enabling knowledgeability of modern actors, stressing thereby growing opportunities for reflexive cooperation in civil society organizations, social movements, and the increasing influence of growing segments of society on democratic regimes. My specific purpose has to be more modest. Access to and the command of knowledge is at the core of my inquiry. Access to and command of knowledge is stratified. I will explore three barriers and hurdles to access to knowledge and ask: (1) is it possible to reconcile expertise and civil society; (2) it is conceivable to reconcile civil society and knowledge as a private good; (3) and finally, are the social sciences and the humanities a source for enabling knowledge?

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Tangokurs Rapperswil-Jona

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